Monthly Archives: July 2012

Food for Thought 7-31-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Drew Stubbs (pictured above) continues to drive most Reds fans nuts with his high number of strikeouts, but he has played a crucial role in the teams recent surge.

By Josh Kramer

It is no secret that there are two very hot teams in baseball at the moment. One resides in the American League (Oakland), while the other plays in the National League (Cincinnati).  Today, we focus on the Reds, and more specifically, their highly scrutinized center fielder Drew Stubbs.  Heading into play last evening, Cincinnati were winners of ten straight games, their longest winning streak in well over a decade.  During the amazing stretch, the Reds had outscored their opponents 54 to 27.  Now I am by no means naive.  Cincinnati is of course doing this without their star and arguably the best player in all of baseball Joey Votto, but they have not exactly played against top-tier competition.  During the stretch in which the Reds have won 17 of 19, four of their six opponents sport under .500 records.  I guess that is the beauty of being a member of the National League Central.

I have made it known that I am by no means a fan of Drew Stubbs these days.  I cannot remember a player failing to play to their strengths and wasting their talent more than this guy.  If one were to look up the word “potential” in the dictionary, the face of Drew Stubbs would appear there.  He runs like a gazelle, yet strikes out 1.3 times a game and doesn’t know how to bunt?  How can a guy with that kind of speed not know how to bunt?  During the Reds ten game winning streak, I have been eating my words (which I am happy about).  Stubbs has raised his batting average from .223 to .230, hit three home runs, and drove in ten runs.  He also has struck out 12 times.  But the key is Drew has come up big in the clutch.  As our good friend Paul Daugherty likes to say, Stubbs has been one of many Reds since the All-Star break to demonstrate the “it” factor.  In Votto’s absence, Stubbs was batting .333 with 14 RBIs heading into last evening.

I still admit that Stubbs shortcomings and inability to utilize his strengths does and will continue to drive me nuts.  Drew Stubbs is going to do what Drew Stubbs is going to do though.  That has been made clear over the past 3.5 seasons.  Stubbs is not on the field to please me or you.  He is out there to help his team win. Continue reading

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Weekly Nickel 7-30-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Many are wondering if Silas Redd (pictured above #25) will return to Penn State next season or take his talents out West to USC.

By Josh Kramer

Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony was at least unique, which was one of the things he was going for.  Even the Queen almost cracked a smile.  All eyes in the sporting world are focused on London, as they should be.  But let’s not forget about the rest of the sporting world.  Last week was fun, but this week is sure to be great in its own right.

5.  The “Dwight Howard Soap Opera” continues.  At least now, most NBA fans can focus their attention on Team USA’ s quest for gold in London.  The Howard reality television series has definitely dragged on far too long, but it is still a big story.  Wherever Howard lands, that team is very likely going to be an instant contender.

4.  The world continues to keep an eye on “Happy” Valley in the wake of the harsh NCAA sanctions.  How will the program actually respond outside of saying the right things at press conferences?  How will the new administration ensure nothing like this ever happens in the future at Penn State? What players will stay? What players will go?  Keep a special eye on star running back Silas Redd.  It appears Lane Kiffin is working hard to add a final piece to a USC team poised to make a run at the National Championship. Continue reading

Phelps empty handed after Day 1, showdown with Lochte

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Michael Phelps (pictured above) did not have a great Day 1 at the London Olympics.

By Nick Craddock

Day 1 of the London 2012 Olympics has concluded and it seems Michael Phelps’ road to becoming the most decorated Olympian of all time will be a winding, typical English countryside road, rather than a straight, smooth expressway to glory.

Phelps finished fourth in the men’s 400-meter individual medley final and the 16-time medalist was more than four seconds slower than fellow countrymen and rival Ryan Lochte. Both swimmers were expected to give the crowd at the Olympic Aquatic Centre a memorable head-to-head showdown, but Phelps was a shell of his normal dominant self, whereas Lochte was ready to capitalize on what may be a changing of the guard in the pool.

In fact, Phelps has seemed askew since a mediocre U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha, nearly four years after his record-setting eight gold medals at the 2008 Olympics.

Perhaps a tad early to push the panic button with Phelps set to swim in six more events (and therefore have a chance for six more medals), Phelps, who appeared noticeably frazzled and at a loss for words after failing to medal in an event for the first time since he was a 15-years-old, may be in danger of slipping from the summit of swimming we have all watched him so effortlessly climb. Continue reading

Savvy Sanchez

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Mark Sanchez (pictured above) has the look of a savvy veteran as training camp begins.

By Josh Kramer

Training camp is always a fun time.  It is when the men are separated from the boys.  Team leaders rise to the forefront, and the less talented are tossed aside.  It is the time when fan bases really begin to salivate in anticipation of early September (39 days until opening night).  This year, ESPN has made it clear that the two places to be are Englewood, Colorado and Cortland, New York.  Pretty obvious choices considering what happened during the NFL’s version of March Madness.

The Broncos picked up a four-time MVP and the Jets acquired the Kardashian of professional sports.  Both of these teams shocked the NFL last season.  One exceeded expectations, while the other failed miserably.  A main reason for the Jets becoming a monumental disappointment this past season was the poor performance of quarterback Mark Sanchez down the stretch.  Some of the criticism was warranted, while some was not.  Well Sanchez doesn’t appear to be letting any of it get him down.  If anything, the criticism has brought him up. Continue reading

What to watch for at the 2012 London Olympics

Image courtesy of olympic.org. The 2012 London Summer Olympics are here. All eyes will be on London for the next 16 days.

By Nick Craddock

After years of planning and preparation, the world’s eyes are on London for the 2012 Olympic Games.

London 2012 represents the 30th edition of the Games (that’s including both the Summer and Winter Games) and will certainly represent some of the best drama sports has to offer. Just as the city of London has been preparing for many years, so, too, have the more than 10,000 athletes from 204 nations expected to compete over the course of 16 days.

After the British attempt to top the Chinese spectacle of 2008 in Beijing at tonight’s Opening Ceremony, here are some storylines to follow during the Games:

1. Michael Phelps—The soon-to-be star of Full Medal Jacket Continue reading

Osi the chatterbox

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. After an injury-riddled 2011, Osi Umenyiora (pictured above) already is stirring the pot in the NFC East with his mouth.

By Josh Kramer

Osi Umenyiora may be only 30-years-old, but he has already left a lasting impact on New York City and the NFL.  Umenyiora during his eight-year stay in New York has already made two Pro Bowls, been named an All-Pro on two different occasions, and won two Super Bowls.  Not to mention he holds the NFL record for forced fumbles in a season (10 in 2010).

He also has had his fair share of issues with Giants upper management, namely Jerry Reese.  After nixing his agent, Umenyiora finally got the contract extension he desired for so long.  Many figured this would enable Osi to be a happy camper for a while.  He may be happy at this time, but his happiness has not stopped him from being a chatterbox. Continue reading

Asik deal makes me sick

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Omer Asik (pictured above) is now making the big bucks in Houston.

By Josh Kramer

Linsanity’s” humongous payday appeared to be insanity.  In reality, that deal was child’s play on the craziness scale compared to what happened yesterday.  The Houston Rockets once again offered up another three-year 25.1 million deal.  This time, to little-known Omer Asik.  Let me repeat that.  Omer Asik, a player who averaged 3.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game last year will be making over eight million dollars a year for the next three seasons.

Answer me this:  What is Daryl Morey (Houston GM) thinking?

Believe me, this by no means is the NBA’s version of “Moneyball.”  It is quite the opposite actually.  The three highest paid players on Houston’s roster at the moment are Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lin, and Omer Asik.  Can you say NBDL?  I am not even sure this team could win the D-League championship to be honest.  In its current state, it is that bad. Continue reading